The State Party Platforms of the Texas Democratic and Republican Parties are available online – look them up. The platforms are credos, a statement of beliefs developed by concerned citizens across the State who choose to actively participate in the democratic process.
They are born in school cafeterias, fire houses, and other local polling places when any citizen who has voted in a primary election attends their precinct convention and puts forth a resolution to be considered for inclusion in the platform. They make their way through county conventions and the ones that survive form the basis of the platforms adopted at the respective State party conventions. Platform development is contentious and involves debate, petitions, campaigns, and voting.
When an individual declares his or her self “Republican” or “Democrat”, it is because they believe in the credo of that particular Party. And when they go into the voting booth, they choose candidates based on whether or not that candidate sees the world as they do.
Why do we continually vilify and nullify that process? It is the very core of our democracy.
When the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party voted to “admonish, rebuke, and censure” Representatives Gonzalez and Marquez, it was not because of their democratic credentials - their voting records are clear. But, as individuals who declare themselves “Democrats”, there is a greater commitment. Obviously, any one, regardless of party affiliation, will work in what they believe to be the best interest of El Paso. But “Democrats” are also interested in electing people who will advance the platform. We are interested in seeing that credo advanced all the way to the White House.
When Mr. Margo labeled our action as “immature”, he, too, minimizes the democratic process. Of course we expect our elected officials to work together in a bi-partisan fashion. But working in a bi-partisan fashion once elected is NOT the same thing as working to help elect members of the opposite political party. Republicans work to get Republicans elected. Democrats work to get Democrats elected. Independents try to figure out which candidate is closest to their personal credo. And when elections are over, everyone should come together and work in a bi-partisan fashion.
In lending their name to campaign literature intended to help a Republican over a Democrat, those reps betrayed the trust of every Texas citizen who toiled in their local, county, and state conventions to develop the Party platform, a credo Mr. Margo has voted against on several occasions.
It’s true; no one political party has a monopoly on all the good ideas. But there are certainly differences, STARK differences, in the Democratic and Republican Party platforms. Again, this is why people claim a party affiliation and work hard to get their candidates elected.
I am not certain when this assault on political parties began. Can’t we go back to respecting each other’s differences? If you are not a fan of Party politics, can you at least see the action of this Executive Committee for what it was – a reinforcement of our credo – and not resort to name calling?
Democratic Precinct Chair, 55